By Don Conway
Authors note: This is one of a series of stories called Movie Minor Characters in which I try to develop a fictional biography of some minor character in a popular movie. Chewbacca the Wookie Warrior is such a character in the movie Star Wars.
Wookies, as everyone knows, are not born…they are hatched from eggs like thousands of other species. Thus the scene from the hatchery in which Chewbacca was hatched is relevant to this biography of the famous warrior.
The Hatchery Supervisor: (to his assistant) “It has been 129 light/dark cycles since this one (749+@33) was conceived. As you know, the longer the gestation period the stronger the shell and the greater the strength needed by the hatchling to break out of its shell. Clearly, this one will be exceptionally strong. Watch over it carefully and let me know as soon as it breaks through its shell.”
With this auspicious beginning 749+@33, later designated as Chewbacca, came into being on the planet Wookie. Its (Wookies do not have Gender) strength was indeed exceptionally great. Training as a warrior was ordained and he was entered into the elite Warrior Academy. By its second cycle, it was clear that Chewbacca’s mindset and behaviors were not the same as most of the other cadets.
Its problems at the Academy started when it insisted on learning to play the Human Violin. “It is not just the sound,” It said. “The mathematical intricacies of the instrument lead my mind into fields and equations that are bound to be useful in battle. Overcoming the manual dexterity problems have greatly increased the strength of my digits. This added strength is an asset that every warrior should aspire to.”
The logic of these arguments was accepted by the Director and Chewbcca was allowed to continue his pursuit of the Human Violin — much to the chagrin of the weapons and tactics instructors. Eventually, it became proficient with both the Human Violin and all manner of Wookie weapons.
Upon graduation from the Warrior Academy Chewbacca was commissioned as a Warrior 2nd Class and assigned to garrison duty on the satellite Xoptilon, Its fall from grace started almost immediately. Like warriors since time immemorial who, away from home and serving in an isolated outpost, succumbed to the attractions of another being. In Chebacca’s case, it was the voluptuous and exotic Xoptilla7. She (Xoptilions do have genders) was an entertainer at a canteen frequented by many of the Wookie warriors. Chewbacca’s story was the old, old tale of the young soldier led astray by the charms of a beautiful creature, liquor, strong drugs, and eventually, sex.
Xoptill7 was an old hand at the “lonely young soldier game”. She knew from experience that a young soldier’s adoration could not last long. And so she burned the candle at both ends by attaching herself to Chewbacca’s Commanding officer, an older, wealthier and more stable form of “insurance” for someone in her position.
When, on one occasion, the Commanding Officer found Chewbacca and Xoptill7 in a compromising position, he determined to punish the young warrior by driving him out of the Wookie military force entirely. This he managed to do by contriving a theft of some military equipment and having Chewbacca convicted of the crime. The military court sentenced him two years at hard labor in the prison facility on Skconkdrah.
Upon its released, alone, disgraced and abandoned on an unfriendly planet Chewbacca fell into a life of crime as the only means available for its survival. In due course, it became acquainted with a smuggler named Hans Solo. Solo had the advantage of owning a legendary craft known as the Millennium Falcon. When he became aware of Chewbacca’s military training and familiarity with all kinds of weapons, Solo proposed that they join forces in his smuggling operations.
Together Solo and Chewbacca traversed the known universe smuggling all manner of objects and beings. In the course of their escapades, they made both friends and implacable enemies such as Jabba the Hutt. When one of their ventures with Jabba the Hutt went wrong Chewbacca and Solo found themselves stranded on the planet Tatooine. At a place called Mos Eisley their salvation came in the form of an elderly Jedi Knight named Obi-Won Kanobi who eventually got them involved in a revolution against the Empire that went by the name of Star Wars.
Don Conway is an award-winning Architect and Writer (two golds and a silver medal from a national writing competition) also a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University. Says he is working hard on book number four.